It’s D-Day…..and I’m Not Talking Doughnuts

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When my girls were little and in Kindergarten, D-Day was a very special day.  They learned their letters and sounds with a curriculum that included “Letter People” and “D” Day was when they learned about Mr. D and his Delicious Doughnuts.  It was also the day the only male teacher at the school, Mr. Davenport (aka Mr. D.) would bring them boxes of delicious Dunkin’ Donuts.  The kids loved it.

But this post is about another D-Day, June 6, 1944.  Today is the 73rd Anniversary of D-Day.  There is a National D-Day Memorial and it’s not located in a tourist “hot spot” like Washington, D.C, where there are a lot of other military memorials.  The National D-Day Memorial is located right off Route 460 in Bedford, Virginia.  My husband and I stopped there on a trip back from a football game way back last October and I’ve been waiting to share this with you until the real D-Day, June 6th. The memorial is a tribute to the Allied Forces who participated in the invasion of Normandy during World War II.  More than 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft supported the landing of 150,000 Allied troops on a 50 mile stretch of beach in Normandy, France in an attempt to break the Nazi stronghold on France.  More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded on that one day, June 6, 1944.  That number included 2,499 American service members. Continue reading

Lights in the Desert

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No trip to Arizona is complete without visiting the desert…well, Phoenix IS actually in the Sonoran Desert and it especially feels like a desert if you are visiting in August and go to the zoo when it’s 117 degrees. Yes, I did that once. But this time I chose a better time to go….in February, warm during the day, cool at night.  Perfect for a stroll around the Desert Botanical Gardens and even better because there was a special night exhibit “Sonoran Lights by Bruce Munro“.  Bruce Munro is a British artist who is known for large scale light based installations.  How large?  Well….31,000 individual lights and hundreds of miles of fiber optic cables large.  This display took 3 years to plan and 5 weeks to install.  And let me tell you, it was worth a visit! Continue reading

A Man’s Home is His Castle….Mystery Castle that is.

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There is a an old saying….”a man’s home is his castle”…meaning it’s a place of refuge, a place where he can do anything he wants.  And that is what Boyce Luther Gulley did.  Over a 15 year period from 1930 until his death in 1945, he built a “castle”….adding to it piece by piece with whatever he could find…old bottles, tiles, railroad tracks, telephone poles, pieces of adobe, automobile parts and too many more items to mention…and all was cemented together with a mortar & cement made with among other things, goat’s milk. 

Situated on eight acres of land on South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona lies this “Mystery Castle”.  Continue reading

Starting Again…Let’s Visit in My Mother’s Back Yard

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So here it is March already and I have broken my New Year’s resolutions many times over.  I didn’t actually write it down….but it was in my head.  My resolution?  Write on my blog more consistently….have a plan….like once a week.  Well, well that didn’t materialize, so I changed it again in my head.  In February it was “write one post a month.”  Surely I could manage to get out 12 posts in a year.  Evidently not.  Maybe  if I had actually written it down, gotten it out of my brain and onto a piece of paper, I might have had a better chance.  But life is all about second chances and “do-overs”, so I’m trying again.

Back in November I challenged anyone who might have read my blog to go and Look in Your Own Backyard. I’m sure if anyone did that, but you really should do this sooner rather than later and not be like my mother.  Last year, I went to visit my mother who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.  She moved there in 1976.  40 years ago….well, now 41 years ago.  It took her 37 years before she visited the Grand Canyon….which is only a mere 3 hour drive away.  So while I was there, I thought we should visit some of the other fun sights that are in her own backyard.  We made a “bucket list” of places my mother has never seen….so in two weeks time we tackled a mansion, a castle, three National Park Monuments and one historic village, plus we checked out a special light show at the Desert Botanical Gardens and spent an afternoon watching the National Hoop Dancing Competition.  Whew!  My mother was born and raised in Chicago, so one of our first ventures in backyard exploring was to visit the The Wrigley Mansion. Continue reading

New Year…..New Beginning…..I am not ready.

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On New Year’s Eve 2015, my husband and I loaded up our 7 suitcases and checked in at the airport in Warsaw, Poland to begin our trip back to the United States. img_8589 2016 was a new beginning….back in our own house, with a new job for my husband, a possible new job for me and a boatload of memories, travel and friendships to look back on and blog about.  (Read about that here This Is A Test)

Reflecting back on 2016, I can say that right now it seems like it flew by…..but in reality, there were times when it just dragged on and on and on.  Continue reading

Look in Your Own Backyard

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Last Month Way back in the beginning of August, I went to my high school reunion.  My 40th High School Reunion.  Yep, that makes me officially old.  It was great to be able to see my former classmates and catch up on what they have been doing. IMG_0571 It was also a great time to visit where I once lived….Blacksburg, Virginia.  Those of you that know me are probably laughing right now.  “But you go there all the time.  In fact I think your car could drive there by itself.”  Probably true…but we go to see the Virginia Tech football games….not necessarily to actually VISIT the town. Continue reading

Fluffy-Butt

I am at a stage in my life when my two beautiful daughters are grown and on their own and my husband and I are enjoying the empty-nest syndrome….an empty nest that has over the past 9 years been intermittently disrupted by this little cutie.Lane - May 2012Yes, while most couples our age are obsessing over their grandchildren and babysitting those same grandchildren, David and I have had the pleasure over the years of watching this little fluffy-butt while our youngest daughter was traveling for work or on vacation or living overseas.  A few months ago, she went back to Korea to live with her “Mom” and we have an empty nest again.  But every blog needs a little cuteness now and then, so let me officially introduce to you, Lane Continue reading

Its Been A Wild Ride!

A year ago, I decided to start a blog to document our move to Bydgoszcz, Poland.  That move evolved into a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, highs and lows and crazy turns and loops.  What my husband and I thought was going to happen, didn’t.   What we thought might be a five year adventure living overseas was cut short….way short.  So we just decided to enjoy the ride while it lasted and cram in as much traveling and sight-seeing as we could.

So what has happened in my life in the last twelve months?  I have 8,249 memories. (read to the end to find out the significance of that number)  But here is a quick recap. Continue reading

My final Seoul Sightseeing “Trip”

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With only a few days left of my trip to Seoul, I decided to do one last thing…take a self-tour using the Seoul City Tour bus, which is a “hop on-hop off” bus.  For one price (12,000 won or about $12.00) you can ride this bus all day and hop on at any of the pre-determined stops and also hop off at any of those stops to see attractions or sights.IMG_2607I thought it would be the perfect way to get to some of the places I still wanted to visit, but were too far to walk. Sounds easy right?  Wrong. Continue reading

Souvenir Shopping

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When you travel to a new city, country or tourist attraction what kind of souvenirs do you buy?  When you come home is your suitcase packed full of souvenirs? Do you leave extra room in your suitcase when you are packing for a trip so you’ll have room for souvenirs?  I tend to overpack….so I don’t usually have a lot of extra space in my suitcase. But I don’t really need it because my favorite things to bring home don’t take up a lot of room or cost a lot of money.  I don’t want to have a house full of “stuff” that collects dust.  Or have to sit on my suitcase to close it.  I told you I went shopping in my previous post, but I didn’t tell you what I was looking for or what I bought.  So here is a list of what I brought home from this trip (and bring home from most every other trip I take):  Think FLAT and PAPER. Continue reading